Getting and keeping clients isn’t rocket science. It’s really more of a social science because it’s like hosting a party (or several short parties per day). So what makes a party so exceptional that people will remember it, tell others about it, and want to attend again and again?
There are many elements that go into a memorable party. Since we (most likely) won’t provide food, cocktails, clowns or piñatas, I’ve chosen these five because no matter the occasion, they hit the mark. Integrating them into your practice routine will keep clients coming back and asking for your business card to pass along.
A personal invitation is your marketing message. It should speak to those clients you prefer working with and help most. This is your guest list. By being more specific on your website, within your professional network and at the events you attend to showcase your practice, you’re setting yourself up to retain more new clients. When we try appealing to everyone, we make it harder for those who are looking for us to find us (who would invite anyone and everyone to a party?). Describing the results they’ll get from your work tells them how you can solve their problem and improve their life.
Make them feel welcome and at ease with a smile and a handshake. Once they arrive, give them your full attention and offer them something to drink (just like you would if they came to your home). Clarify their expectations by giving them options and sharing your treatment plan. Ask if they have any questions before leaving the room while they get on the table.
Atmosphere matters. Keeping your massage environment clean and tidy gives a good impression (you’d clean your house before a party, right?). Your decor, lighting, music, room temperature and table comfort also influence your client’s perception. This doesn’t require spending tons of money. The best way to experience what your clients do is to ask a friend to trade in your space. Ask for their feedback about these items and notice them yourself while you receive. Then ask each client about them to accommodate individual preferences.
Stand out from the ordinary with thoughtful details (a great host makes sure everyone has a good time). Use their name when you check in about pressure or time spent on problem areas. Refer back to what they told you during the intake to give them a customized treatment that shows you listened and care about their input. Unless they request total silence, most people want to have a say in what they’re paying for. If the massage is going to run longer than the scheduled end time, let them know ten minutes before then so you can make adjustments should they need to be done on time.
Have you EVER been to a party where the host wanted you to leave (if so, I bet it’s a crazy story)? Not being rushed after their massage gives clients permission to savor the effects of our time together and shows our appreciation for them choosing us. If you find yourself getting anxious to finish up with one client so you can prepare for the next, or you’re consistently running behind, experiment with having more time in between (some or all) of your appointments. It’s much easier to rebook happy clients or give clear self-care instructions when you have plenty of time.
A friend of mine called the clients where we worked together “guests” (from her background in Las Vegas spas). When we treat our clients as a guest who we want to enjoy themselves, they feel special. Combine that with a tempting incentive to return (such as a discounted package or other loyalty program) and they’ll gladly become a regular client. Striving to create the best experience I can for every client, every time they visit keeps me celebrating the growth of the practice that I love!
What other elements do you use so clients feel special? What have you experienced during a massage that made you feel special? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!